Frosted Fudge Brownies

Rich, fudgy and oh so amazing!!  Frosted Fudge Brownies

These rich and delicious Frosted Fudge Brownies are a chocolate lovers dream!

If you’ve been around here any length of time you might have noticed I like chocolate… a lot!  When it comes to dessert, if I’m given the choice I’ll almost always chose something chocolaty.

I love brownies and have already shared my favorite Fudgy Homemade Brownies recipe.  I still love those classic fudge brownies… but sometimes I really crave a frosted brownie!

These Frosted Fudge Brownies are a nice balance between fudgy and cakey… I still used the word “fudge” in the title because when you add the frosting, the overall dessert is rich and fudgy, and oh so delicious!

Rich and delicious!!  Frosted Fudge Brownies

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Frosted Fudge Brownies

The brownie base is nicely balanced between fudgy and cakey. When you add the frosting, the overall dessert is rich, fudgy and oh so delicious!

Yield: 1- 9"x13" pan (apx. 24 brownies)

Ingredients:

Brownies
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup Challenge unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup boiling water
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)
1 cup chocolate chips

Frosting
6 Tablespoons Challenge butter (unsalted or salted), softened
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2-2/3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk (whole milk is preferred, if using fat-free, mix it with a bit of cream)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350*F and line a 9"x13" baking pan with parchment paper (leave a bit of parchment hanging up from the sides).

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer (or a large bowl of your choice), add cocoa powder and baking soda. Stir in butter, then add boiling water and continue to stir until well combined. Add sugar and blend well. Add eggs and vanillla and blend until fully combined.

3. Add flour and salt and blend until just incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips, then pour into prepared pan.

4. Bake 35-40 minutes, or until brownies begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

5. When the brownies have cooled, prepare frosting by beating the butter in a medium bowl. Add cocoa powder, then powdered sugar and blend. Slowly add milk (while blending), then add vanilla. Spread frosting onto cooled brownies.

6. For easiest cutting, chill the entire pan a brownies in the fridge, then remove brownies from pan by pulling up on parchment paper. Cut using a sharp knife, and wipe off knife between cuts, as needed.

Recipe source - Hershey's Cocoa Cookbook, 1979

I recommend "natural" style (not "dutch processed") cocoa for this recipe. I used (and love) Ghirardelli brand.

I used Challenge brand butter, but feel free to use any high quality butter of your choice.

Grab a glass of milk and share these with someone you love  =)

Happy baking!

Double-Decker Fall Decorated Cookies

Double Decker Fall Decorated Cookies with step-by-step directions

I love baking year round, but there is something extra special about baking in the fall!  Cooler weather seems the perfect background for a warm oven and fragrant fall spices!

These double-decker fall decorated cookies are as delicious as they are beautiful!  I started with my Pumpkin Spice Cutout Cookie Recipe and then took decorating inspiration from Decorating Cookies Party, a new book by the lovely Bridget of Bake at 350.  Bridget makes all kinds of cute cookies and treats on her site, and she has a super sweet personality to match!

Fall Decorated Cookies with Pumpkin Spice Cookie Recipe

When I first looked through this pretty book I was drawn to some adorable double-decker wedding shower cookies (pictured below).  Bridget first popularized this fun double-decker cookie idea a couple years ago and it’s seriously brilliant!  I mean what’s better than one cookie… two cookies of course!

Although I love Bridget’s wedding shower design as is, I thought I could take the inspiration and turn it into something perfect for fall.  I used the same base cutter, a scalloped oval, and used a simple mix of stripes and polka-dots for the background, just as Bridget did.  Then I added mini pumpkin and leaf cookies in place of the wedding themed cookies.  I really love the way they turned out!

Fall Double Decker Cookies - Inspired by Decorating Cookies Party Book

Here’s the simple step-by-step decorating tips…

Start with a batch of your favorite sugar cookie dough.  I used my Pumpkin Spice Cookie Recipe, but feel free to use my basic Sugar Cookie Recipe.

You’ll also need a batch of Royal Icing.

For each cookie you can follow the step-by-step photos below.

The basics are as follows…

Mini pumpkins- Pipe stem with piping consistency, allow to set up.  Add pumpkin segments that are not touching, using medium/flood consistency.  Allow first segments to set up before adding final segments.

Mini leaves- Outline (using a piping consistency), then immediately flood.  Allow to dry, then add details, as pictured.

Scalloped oval- Outline, then allow the outline to dry a bit.  Flood with a contrasting color (if desired).  Immediately add stripes or dots to the wet icing.  Allow to dry before adding mini cookie (with a bit of icing).

Fall Decorated Cookies step by step

 

Fall Decorated Cookies with Pumpkin Spice Cookie Recipe

This general concept could be adjusted countless ways!  The addition mini cookies onto a larger base creates such a fun and unique treat!

This design is just one of the beautiful and creative ideas in Decorating Cookies Party, which is currently available on Amazon for $10, what a steal!!

And if you hop on over to Bake at 350, Bridget’s celebrating her book launch with an awesome giveaway (P.S. a KitchenAid Mixer is involved!!).

Happy Baking!

Cake Stands, Cookbook & Mystery Box Giveaway!

Cake Stand & Cookbook Giveaway!

I could create quite a long list of things in this life that I love and am passionate about… baking, crafting, photography, party planning, those would all be on the list.  But the items on the very top of my list would be God, my husband and our two daughters.

I have only mentioned this once before, but the number one reason I started this blog was with the plan and hope of being able to make enough money to send my daughters to private Christian school.  I have met that goal and feel so thankful everyday!   I feel so amazingly blessed to have a job I love, one that allows me to use my creative gifts, and can provide for my girls to attend an amazing school.

Our school is small and it has been a perfect fit for our family.  The level of passion, love and commitment from each teacher and staff member is really amazing!  The character qualities I see being built in our children, and the other students at our school makes me feel hopeful that these children will make a positive impact on our world.

Because our school is small and private (and as such receives no government funding), it is very difficult (near impossible) to balance the school budget on tuition alone.  We have to rely on a couple yearly fundraisers to keep our school afloat.

I’ve written and re-written this post several times.  I want to defend our choice to send our girls to private school… I want to assure you we are not rich snobs raising entitled children… I want to share with you the personal (and financial) sacrifices our family makes so our girls can attend a school we deeply love and believe in.

But I think this post can be much simpler than that.

Do you love this blog?  Do you feel like you’ve gained something from my site?  Do you appreciate the ideas I share here?

If the answer is yes, might you be willing to participate in something that is deeply important to me, simply because I am asking?

Would you partner with me in raising money for our school?

I hope your answer is yes… but I’m prepared to sweeten my request =)

What you can win…

I’ve gathered some of my favorite baking supplies, ingredients, props and pretty packaging items and filled a box full!  The exact contents is a mystery (to you), but I am quite confident the recipient will have fun with all of these goodies!  In addition, I purchased a set of two pretty scalloped cake stands, and I have a signed copy of my book to add to the heap of fun!

 

How to help our school…

You may simply use the button below to donate money in any amount ($5, $10, $50, etc).









 

Using the donate button above will send money to my personal pay-pal account. As soon as the giveaway ends I will write a check directly to our school with 100% of any money donated.

Our school is a non-profit organization, and as such you can donate directly to the school to receive a tax write off.  If you would like to receive the tax write off for your donation, leave a comment below with the amount you’d like to donate. You do not need to leave your e-mail address in the (public) comment section, because I can see it (on my end) from the comment form itself.  You will receive an e-mail where you can easily donate directly to the school, along with the school’s tax id for your records.

If you have any questions about our school (Summit Christian School, located in Fair Oaks, California), please e-mail me directly at glorioustreats@gmail.com and I would love to chat with you about this school I deeply love.

 

How to enter the giveaway…

Simply leave a comment below with what you hope is in the mystery giveaway box.
Also, please feel free to mention if you were able to donate.

 

Giveaway details – Giveaway ends Friday, October 17th, 2014 at 9pm Pacific.  The winner will be chosen using random.org.  Due to shipping costs, the giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.  One entry per person.  Donating money is greatly appreciated, but is not required to enter.

Thank you in advance for partnering with me to support a charity that is deeply important to me!  Any amount donated, however small is greatly appreciated!

Halloween Candy Bark

Halloween Candy Bark - This sweet and easy snack is perfect for any holiday!

I know some of you are just getting warmed up to the idea of pumpkin and apple treats… and here I am with a Halloween recipe!  I think you’ll discover that this recipe for Halloween Candy Bark is so easy, and so tasty, you’ll want to make it all year round!

By simply swapping out the Halloween candy additions for your favorite treats, this recipe is perfect for any holiday or occasion!  This would make a perfectly cute and simple birthday party snack!

I created this recipe to share over on Better Homes and Gardens.  Hop on over and you’ll find all the details on this Halloween Candy Bark.

Easy Halloween Candy Bark Recipe

Happy snacking!

Chocolate and Wine Tasting Party

Chocolate and Wine Tasting Party Ideas

Fall is such a nice time to enjoy gathering with friends.  This time of year most people are back on a regular schedule with work and school, and the rush of the holiday season has not quite hit.

Hosting a Chocolate and Wine Tasting Party is a fun and surprisingly easy party your friends will love!

In my experience, when you ask friends if they’d like to come over for some chocolate and wine, the only question they will ask is WHEN?

And when chocolate the star of the party you don’t need to worry about making any other dessert!  Just a few very simple appetizers and you’ll be set!

Chocolate and Wine Tasting Party

For this fun twist on a tasting party, I started with Lindt new EXCELLECNCE Dark Chocolates.

Lindt provided me with a selection of their EXCELLENCE Dark Chocolates as well as suggested wine pairings from J.Lohr.

I was really surprised how tasting the chocolate and wine together really elevated the flavors of both!

Chocolate and Wine Tasting Party

In addition to the Lindt Chocolates and J.Lohr wine, I simply prepared a platter of fresh fruit and a small cheese and cracker plate.

Certainly you could add a few more appetizers if you would like to create more of a meal.  I have a whole Pinterest board full of delicious Appetizers & Snacks where I’m sure you could find some delicious ideas.

Chocolate and Wine Tasting Party Ideas

Lindt made the chocolate and wine pairing easy on me and my guests by providing cards describing the suggested pairings.

Lindt EXCELLENCE Pineapple paired with J.Lohr Estates Riverstone Chardonnay.  This well balanced Chardonnay paired perfectly with the naturally sweet pineapple and roasted hazelnut pieces in the chocolate.  This pairing provides a delightful finish of caramel and cream.

Lindt EXCELLENCE Intense Orange paired with J.Lohr Estates Bay Mist White Riesling.  Enticing notes of lychee, pear and orange are present in this bright and luscious wine.  It’s the ideal match for the sweet citrus profile of the EXCELLENCE Intense Orange.

Lindt EXCELLENCE A Touch of Sea Salt paired with J.Lohr Estates Falcon’s Perch Pinot Noir.  The fresh ripe berries in this wine are accompanied by a touch of earth and brown sugar that compliment the sharpness of the Fleur de Sel and sweet cacao characteristics of EXCELLENCE A Touch of Sea Salt.

Lindt EXCELLENCE Chili paired with J.Lohr Estates South Ridge Syrah.  This is an elegant red wine with rich fruit aromas and flavors.  Paired with sweet dark chocolate perfumed with premium red chili, this pairing create a spicy warmth that bursts onto the palate.

Lindt EXCELLENCE 70% Cocoa paired with J.Lohr Estates Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon.  The wine’s ripe aromas of blueberry and black plum match perfectly with the rich notes found in EXCELLENCE 70% Cocoa.

Each guest had their own favorite combination… and it was amazing to notice the different flavors that the chocolate and wine brought out in each other.

My favorite pairing was the light and fruity combo of Lindt EXCELLECNE Pineapple paired with the Chardonnay.

Chocolate and Wine Tasting Party Ideas

 

Chocolate and Wine Tasting Party Ideas

Lindt Chocolate wants to encourage you to host your own Chocolate and Wine Tasting Party!

Lindt has prepared a beautiful selection of EXCELLENCE Dark Chocolates for one lucky Glorious Treats reader to share with their friends (or keep for yourself… I wont tell!).

To win-  (Giveaway Closed)

Simply leave a comment below telling me, what’s your favorite flavor of chocolate?

 

Lindt Chocolate Giveaway

Giveaway details – Giveaway sponsored by Lindt Chocolates.  Giveaway open to U.S. residents 18 years old and older.  One comment per person.  Giveaway ends Sunday, September 21st at 9pm Pacific.  Comments must be left on this blog post.  If you are reading this post in an e-mail, click on the blog post title to view this post on-line.

*********************************** Giveaway Closed ***********************************

Winner #34 Sherill

Disclosure – I was provided products and/or payment in exchange for my time to create this post.  I only share products on my blog that I use and love.  All images, text and opinions are my own.